News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2017

CONTACT: Ryan Max,, 212-513-9323 (Cultural Affairs)
                Tom D’Ambrosio, Polk & Co,, 917-261-3988 ext 4 (Second Stage)


The City has added an additional $2.35 million this year to support the renovation of the historic Midtown theater

Dedicated to presenting new work by living American playwrights, Second Stage at The Hayes will open in 2018

New York – The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Council, and Second Stage Theater today announced that the renovation of the historic Hayes Theater in Midtown Manhattan received $2.35 million in new funding added in this year’s City budget. This new funding brings the City’s total commitment to $14.17 million for Second Stage Theater, which will establish the Company’s permanent, state of the art venue dedicated exclusively to living American playwrights on Broadway.

Second Stage Theater is currently on schedule to complete fundraising the final 20% of the $64 million project, which will include funds for programming, operations, and production of its upcoming seasons on Broadway.

“We are so pleased to support this renovation of the historic Hayes Theater,” said NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “Bringing Second Stage’s work in highlighting American playwrights to a permanent new home on Broadway will help to ensure that diverse voices in theater have a platform to engage audiences in New York’s cultural community for generations to come. We look forward to the opening of this new landmark next year.”

“Second Stage is the kind of institution that enriches our city, showcasing the work of emerging artists and offering multiple programs to bring theater to wider audiences,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I’m pleased we can celebrate this new funding for Second Stage’s respectful restoration of the Hayes, a treasured landmark which has delighted audiences with plays and shows for more than a century.”

“As the Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs in the City Council, I'm proud that this historic renovation of the Hayes Theater was made possible through funding from the City Council, which highlights the necessity of strong government support for the health of our city’s cultural sector” said City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “With more than $14 million committed by the City, the Second Stage Theater will now have a permanent home to continue presenting great works by living American playwrights.”

“New York is the theater capital of the world,” said Council Member Corey Johnson, “I’m proud that my district includes the greatest concentration of theaters everywhere, and we have a responsibility that they survive and thrive. Knowing that the renovation of the Hayes Theater is funded and secure is a relief to all those who value Broadway’s history in our City. I’d like to thank the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and Casey Reitz at Second Stage for being such incredible partners through this process.”

“The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and New York City Council have been staunch supporters of this project from our first conversations many years ago,” says Second Stage Executive Director Casey Reitz.  “Knowing that the City supports our mission of keeping American plays and playwrights front and center in the Broadway landscape is a heartening message to all theater artists, and everyone at Second Stage is very grateful for their extremely generous support.”

Second Stage’s acquisition and renovation of The Hayes Theater will establish a permanent, state of the art venue dedicated exclusively to developing and supporting American plays and playwrights.  The $64 million project - a complete renovation of the 585-seat landmarked theater, focusing on public spaces and audience comfort, ADA accessibility, and design and infrastructure - is spearheaded by the Rockwell Group. The renovation will update the Hayes Theater to LEED Silver status.

Second Stage’s ongoing fundraising campaign is also raising support and funding for its innovative Stage-2-Stage program, a unique partnership with Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group, which will provide a pathway to Broadway and will ensure that American playwrights will have a vital, permanent space on the Broadway stage.

With Second Stage at The Hayes, the company will continue its longstanding tradition of producing diverse works by women and artists of color, now bringing them to a larger stage. The Hayes’ upcoming season will include the Broadway debut of Straight White Men, written by Young Jean Lee.  The production will make Ms. Lee the first Asian-American female playwright to have a play produced on Broadway.

Second Stage at The Hayes will officially open in March 2018 with Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero, directed by Trip Cullman and starring Michael Cera, Chris Evans, and Brian Tyree Henry.

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life.  DCLA works to promote and advocate for quality arts programming and to articulate the contribution made by the cultural community to the City’s vitality. The Department represents and serves nonprofit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary, and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens, and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists at all skill levels who live and work within the City’s five boroughs. DCLA also provides donated materials for arts programs offered by the public schools and cultural and social service groups, and commissions permanent works of public art at City-funded construction projects throughout the five boroughs.

Under the artistic direction of Carole Rothman, SECOND STAGE THEATER produces a diverse range of premieres and new interpretations of America’s best contemporary theater by living American playwrights, including 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis; 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes; The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown; Dogfight by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Peter Duchan; Dear Evan Hansen by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Steven Levenson; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage; Trust and Lonely, I’m Not by Paul Weitz; The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz; Everyday Rapture and Whorl Inside a Loop by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott; Let Me Down Easy by Anna Deavere Smith; Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo; Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane; Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin; Jitney by August Wilson; Jar the Floor by Cheryl L. West; Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein; Crowns by Regina Taylor; Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim; Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo’s Greatest Hits by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy; This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan; Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants by Ricky Jay; Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; A Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller; Little Murders by Jules Feiffer; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; and Tiny Alice by Edward Albee.

The company’s more than 130 citations include six 2017 Tony Awards for Dear Evan Hansen (Best Musical, Best Lead Actor in a Musical, Ben Platt; Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Rachel Bay Jones; Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations), three 2009 Tony Awards for Next to Normal (Best Lead Actress in a Musical, Alice Ripley; Best Score, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; Best Orchestrations, Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt); the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed); the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin, …Spelling Bee) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler, …Spelling Bee); the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses); the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 30 Obie Awards, eight Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Clarence Derwent Awards, 13 Drama Desk Awards, nine Theatre World Awards, 19 Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Critics Circle award and 23 AUDELCO Awards.

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